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Where Did All the Men Go?

This is an open letter to the eligible bachelors of Australia: Where did you all go?

There is a plethora of fantastic, smart, attractive single ladies here for you – some are great friends of mine – but you all seem to have collectively disappeared under a huge rock somewhere.

Where Did the Men Go?

At least, that’s the message I’m getting from said single ladies.

Is it some elaborate game of hide-and-seek? Are you waiting for us to count to 10 and come find you?

Because, let me tell you, no one got the memo.

Girls are busy sitting in cocktail bars with their dry martinis, shrugging their shoulders.

“It’s dismal,” says Z, 32.

“All the good guys have been snapped up. They’re either already married or they’re going for girls who are in their 20s.”

“Young guys will come up to me in a bar and be cheeky and flirt and have a chat,” says L. “But they’re just looking for a one-off night or something casual. The guys my age are nowhere to be found.”

Lately, women I know are discarding the bar-and-club scene altogether as a potential pick up joint for men.

“It’s all too hard. I’m busy, I don’t have time for mind games. Who can bothered?” says O, who seems like she may be ready to give up looking.

It seems to O that no one really wants to make a commitment anymore, that relationships are all too hard and at the first sign of a problem, men jump ship and go back to a comfortable life of bachelorhood and dating.

On the flipside, the single men I’ve questioned have also called it a day with the nightlife scene – no good single women there either, apparently.

“Too many egos,” said J, also echoing O’s sentiments about game playing.

He bemoans the self-obsessed superficial atmosphere of bars and clubs. “Internet dating, singles speed dating events, and nightclubs are all too contrived.”

So why not approach women at cafes, or in the street?

Where Did the Men Go?

“We’re sick of being rudely shot down all the time when we approach girls. I’m really reluctant to go up to someone as they always assume I have the wrong intentions. No one wants to just chat anymore.” Poor J.

Meanwhile, O has been wondering why guys don’t make the first move these days. Miscommunication much?

But let’s face it: bar pick-ups aren’t for everyone. It really depends on what you’re looking for.

If it’s a no-strings-attached fling, bars are perfect. Everyone is beautiful thanks to the cocktail goggles and a good smoke machine (it evens out the skin tone, no?).

However, if it’s lasting love, you’re unlikely to find it among your pile of crumpled clothes on the floor of some stranger’s flat the next morning.

Guy Sebastian never thought he’d “fall in love in a club”. And, while it worked for Princess Mary, most people would agree that it is more surprising when a serious relationship does blossom out of a bar meeting.

If there is a man/woman drought in your life, why not enjoy some time working on yourself (and I don’t just mean under the covers)?

Nurture your friendships – they are good for the soul (and you never know who you might meet at a friend’s birthday party or wedding).

Do stuff. You like the outdoors? Join a jogging group and take up fun runs.

Like the indoors? Do a wine-appreciation course.

Doing stuff makes your life interesting, and makes you interesting to others. Plus, you’ll find like-minded people at these events. And the Mere Exposure Effect works to your advantage in these situations too.

But back to our eligible bachelors and bachelorettes: With all these eligible men and women apparently drifting past each other on the dance floor (all the while wondering where they can meet The One), where, or what, is the missing link?

Have we created a dating culture so frightening that it’s not working for anyone anymore? I’d love to hear what you think.

I received a barrage of emails – mostly from men – over the weekend in response to this column. Here are a few samples. Feel free to comment!

Hello Emma,
I read your latest article in Friday’s MX with incredulity and, I must say, rising hostility!
You asked “Where did you all go?” of the eligible bachelors.
I say “We are still here!”
To be as blunt as possible, so the ladies get the message (they obviously cannot see where the problem originates).
It is your friends, in their 30′s now, that have created this drought for themselves.

The “Good Guys” tried to approach them a long time ago, but because of some immature superficiality, were either shot down or rudely dismissed. Your friends didn’t want Mr Right, they wanted – right now. They went out with players, sharks, predators, chauvinists and the bad guys that had some masochistic appeal to them. Do they not realise that decisions have consequences?

Is it no wonder that the good guys are either taken or look for someone younger? They have been burned by their own age group and so now, if they have not been snatched up, have the confidence in themselves and the positivity to seek that which they desire. There is only so much a person can take before they move on to the other fishing spots of plenty in the sea.

Surely your friends cannot be surprised?
Payback is as much of a bitch as they were.


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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


One comment for “Where Did All the Men Go?”

  1. Posted by Emma | February 7, 2011, 6:16 pm

    Don’t totally discount bars, I’ve meet great guys out on that social scene including my boyfriend- it does happen!

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